Monthly Archives: January, 2016

A Shot of Short | Doctor Mandela Kaise Pagal Huwa (Adwaita Das)

Doctor Mandela Kaise Pagal Huwa is a short film directed by Adwaita Das for her FTII Diploma project. It is a metaphor for the bureaucracy and red-tapism that is rampant across all kinds of systems in the country, and how the only way to deal with it is to fit in, or be made to fit in. But every once in a while someone crosses over the tipping point to the other side, and decides to take matters in their own hands.

The film is about a mental asylum where patients are tortured in the name of treatment. The administration is negligent and the doctors sadistic. Only one new doctor recruited there sympathises with the patients and questions the governance, but his colleagues, threatened by him, label him a madman as well, and treat him like a patient at the same asylum. And then, someone begins ruthlessly murdering people from the administration and pandemonium ensues.

Adwaita has won several awards for the short. The bleached look of the film, symbolising a dystopian set-up, the dialogue written in couplet style (and impressively sub-titled the same way too), and the message in the film have been greatly appreciated by audiences.

 

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His Master’s Voice | Christopher Nolan

Christopher_Nolan

Christopher Jonathan James Nolan (1970 – present)

English-American film director, screenwriter and producer

Nolan’s films are rooted in philosophical, sociological and ethical concepts, exploring human morality, the construction of time, and the malleable nature of memory and personal identity. His work has strong elements of nonlinear storytelling, practical special effects, and analogous relationships between visual language and narrative elements.

Films of Note (as director): Following (1998), Memento (2000), Insomnia (2002), Batman Begins (2005), The Prestige (2006), The Dark Knight (2008), Inception (2010), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Interstellar (2014)

Friday Fun Fact | Spectre (2015)

Spectre_Aston Martin

The title of the film, Spectre,  was announced to the public in late 2014 which is the same year as the 50th Anniversary of the franchise’s relationship with the Aston Martin car company which started with the silver birch Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger (1964) as well as the 50th Anniversary year of the passing away of James Bond creator Ian Fleming in 1964.

James Bond’s new car in the film is an Aston Martin DB10. The CEO of Aston Martin tweeted that it is “strictly created for James Bond and strictly limited to ten cars only. It is the most exclusive car of the DB series ever.” New styling direction has also been taken, with a more angular look than has ever been witnessed on an Aston Martin. The cost of the Aston Martin vehicles that were car-crashed and blown-up in the movie amounted to approximately UK £24 million (= or US $36.7 million). The number plate of James’ Aston Martin DB10 is “DB10 AGB”.

The Rome chase sequence between Bond’s Aston Martin DB10 and Mr. Hinx’s Jaguar C-X75 marks the first time two prototype vehicles – ones not intended for production – have been featured in a Bond film. It’s also the first time any prototype car has been used in a Bond film. This is the second movie in the official James Bond film franchise series to feature a car chase involving both Jaguar and Aston Martin vehicle makes and models with the first having being Die Another Day (2002) around thirteen years earlier.

Christoph Waltz has stated in an interview that he was a James Bond fan when he was younger and owned a Corgi Aston Martin DB5 as did director Sam Mendes.

A Shot of Short | Cafe Regular, Cairo (Ritesh Batra)

Ritesh Batra’s short film from 2011 is all about a conversation at a cafe in Cairo. A woman (Mai) has just returned from a trip and is waiting to meet her boyfriend (Alaa), whom she has been seeing for two years. The couple is obviously close, but struggling with local cultural traditions – Mai wants them to consummate their relationship even before they are married and Alaa is worried about the repercussions for her and is difficult. It is very refreshing to see a woman ask for something taboo here while the man is the more passive one.

Batra stages the entire 11-minute film in an outside cafe. There’s not much action, except a waiter stopping by to take an order and passersby on the street. The focus is simply on Alaa and Mai and their conversation. Because so little happens on the screen, there’s a greater emphasis on Batra’s words, which are beautifully written. The conversation feels organic and true, as if this were a real couple with real problems.

The film has won several awards across festivals, including the Critics Prize (FIPRESCI) for Best Film at International Short Film Festival Oberhausen , Jury Special Mention at Tribeca Film Festival and Chicago International Film Festival, and the Best Short Film  – German Star of India

His Master’s Voice | David Cronenberg

David_Cronenberg

David Paul Cronenberg, CC OOnt FRSC (1943 – present)

Canadian filmmaker, screenwriter and actor

One of the principal originators of the body horror/venereal horror genre (exploring people’s fears of bodily transformation and infection). Known as the most audacious and challenging narrative director in the English-speaking world.

Films of note (as director) – Rabid (1977), Scanners (1981), Videodrome (1983), The Fly (1986), Dead Ringers (1988), Crash (1996), Exitenz (1999), A History of Violence (2005), A Dangerous Method (2011), Cosmopolis (2012)